Earthworm’s immunity in the nanomaterial world: new room, future challenges


  • Y Hayashi Department of Bioscience - Terrestrial Ecology, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark ; iNANO Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, Aarhus University, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
  • P Engelmann Department of Immunology and Biotechnology, Clinical Center, University of Pécs, Szigeti u. 12, Pécs H-7643, Hungary


nanomaterials, silver nanoparticles, immunogenicity, earthworms, coelomocytes, uptake


Since the advent of the nanotechnology era, the environmental sink has been continuously
receiving engineered nanomaterials as well as their derivatives. Our current understanding of the potential impact of nanomaterials on invertebrate immunity is limited to only a handful of initial studies including those on earthworms. Recently, we reported selective accumulation of silver nanoparticles in the amoebocyte population of Eisenia fetida coelomocytes in vitro. In this review, we give an overview of available literature on the life-history impacts on earthworms, and what we have learnt of the immune responses to nanoparticles with references to other invertebrate species and vertebrate counterparts. We discuss the significant contribution of amoebocytes as nanoparticle scavengers and suggest a possibility of studying inter-cellular communications in coelomocytes. Implications from the leading researches in vertebrate models tell us that study of the nanoparticle recognition involved in cellular uptake as well as sub- and inter-cellular events may uncover further intriguing insights into earthworm’s immunity in the nanomaterial world.